IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 24-year-old former high school teacher in rural Iowa turned herself into authorities Friday after admitting that she had four sexual relationships with male students during the previous school year, police said.
Ashley Nicole Anderson, a math teacher at Aplington-Parkersburg High School, sent nude photographs of herself to students in text messages, performed oral sex with at least three of the students, and had intercourse with one of them at his home, according to a criminal complaint filed in Butler County.
Anderson, who lives in Ackley, was booked and released from the Butler County jail after posting $5,000 bond. She is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee, each of which carries up to five years in prison.
A phone number for her was unavailable Friday, and it was not clear whether she had yet retained an attorney.
The police department in Parkersburg, a city of 1,900 in northeast Iowa, received information Sept. 20 that Anderson had sexually abused a student after one of the victims confided in someone, and a teacher heard about it, said Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund. He said police contacted DCI to investigate.
Anderson, who taught algebra, geometry and pre-calculus classes at the high school, recently resigned from the district. She had also served as the faculty adviser for Students Against Drunk Driving and the prom committee, and was the assistant girls' track coach. She started working at the district in 2010.
The investigation found that Anderson had a relationship with an 18-year-old senior she had in class last fall that started with kissing and escalated to multiple sex acts, including at his residence. Anderson had similar relationships with a 16-year-old junior who served on the prom committee and a 16-year-old sophomore, the complaint says.
A fourth relationship with a 17-year-old student included a kiss on a gravel road after track practice last spring and continued after he graduated from the school, the complaint says.
In each case, "Anderson admitted to the conduct," according to the complaint, which said the relationships spanned from Aug. 1, 2011 to June 30.
Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal Dave Meyer and Superintendent Jon Thompson said in a statement the district was aware of the allegations but could not comment on the specifics.
"We can affirm that our students will always be our first priority and that we have followed all school policies on matters such as this and that the school cooperated fully with the police investigation," they said.